One of the most gruesome artifacts of rock history is up for sale through dealer Moments in Time.
On Dec. 8, 1980, just hours before Lennon’s death, Chapman was photographed approaching the Beatle outside his home at the Dakota building to get him to sign the record.
When Lennon returned home later with his wife,Yoko Ono, from a recording session, he was shot dead by Chapman.
In the chaotic aftermath of the shooting, the album was dropped on the floor, and a maintenance man found it in a planter at the Dakota entrance, handing it over to police as evidence.
It was later returned by New York City prosecutors to the maintenance man with a letter of thanks from the district attorney involved in the prosecution of Chapman.
The album cover is in black and white and features Lennon kissing his wife; his signature appears on the neck of Ono. The record also bears Chapman’s forensically enhanced fingerprints and police evidence marker WJ-T2.
The album — which has been described as “the most extraordinary artifact in rock ’n’ roll history” — has been sold a number of times since, including in 1998 for $150,000 and most recently in 2010 for $850,000.
Chapman is serving 20 years to life imprisonment for second degree murder and has been denied parole nine times. He once sought to reclaim the album, writing in a 1986 letter that it would be “the least [he] could do” to auction for a children’s charity.